This article is a follow-up to this article. We reluctantly drove over that field. I felt all those eyes on us and it got super suffocating. In a corner we parked the van and set up our camp timidly. We were hiding behind our van. When we hid there it was okay, and we even forgot that there were others. But you can not avoid it. When you had to go to the toilet or get water you had to walk past all those people, people who look, nod, say something or even want to have a chat. The tension increased more and more. I tried to endure it, to suck it up, to let it slip, to ignore it. But of course, that didn’t work out.


In the afternoon we made a long walk. That was nice. We relaxed and felt the freedom, silence and peace of mind which we apparently needed so badly. We could be ourselves again and we were happy. Until we had to go back to the van to go back to the campsite. Dark clouds were gathering together. I started the van but less than a hundred meters further I started to panic, I did not know where to go. Then I drove the van to the side of the road. I looked straight ahead with frightened eyes. ‘What is the matter’, my girlfriend asked, and the crying started. Helplessly I was trapped in my fear. I just could not handle it anymore.

You can always leave

My girlfriend, my dear, comforted me and reminded me of the rule that we agreed on: if one of us can’t cope anymore, we will just go, without questioning, whining or complaining. Through my tears I saw her emphatic smile. The acceptance, security and love gave me the ground to stand upon again.
I started the van and we drove to the campsite relieved. The panic was lulled, the anguish disappeared without feeling guilty or weak. This is what we do so well. I am quite proud of that. How well we succeed every time dealing with my fears or her autism. We not only accept how we are, we also say yes wholeheartedly to each other, with all our disorders, our limitation and our problems. We give each other unconditional security so that we can be who we are, do things or try something new. We do not mind if it goes wrong. Our love is also unconditional so that we can deal with our disability and disruptions without shame. It is all good and if not then still, we often say to each other.


And self-mockery, that is also our strength. At the campsite we drove very slowly, gaudy and mockingly observing the central social campeniers field. We laughed like two jolly toddlers while we were demonstratively packing our things. While we saw the others looking at us, we took it a step further and made a caricature of ourselves. We acted our most psychologically disordered behaviors. Absurdism at its peak! Cheerful, happy and free from fear we left and left this ‘oh so cozy campsite’.

We were on our way back home. Hell had closed its gates again and the rain stopped falling within us. To reward ourselves for our fantastic coping strategy, we decided to go out for a lovely dinner in Amerongen before we went into the night together.

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Rogiér Cenin

I am a philosopher, teacher and experience expert in the field of anxiety, PTSD, depression, personality disorders and just life! I am coming from far and would like to share my experiences and thinking with you.

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